Monday, 14 June 2010

The Scabbard and the Sword: Session 3

STARRING:

Bill as Brutus "Sten" Stentor, Lithium's Sound Technician

Jack as Joseph, the Hobo-Rat

Lisa as Five (now known as Two), Creepy Death Obsessed Darkling

Game Mastered by Krzyś

Release Date: 12th June 2010



About halfway to the Freehold's main Hollow, Lithium got a call from her agent reminding her of the upcoming gig. She had to go back to her place and make sure she's ready for it or else her contract would be in ruins. Thus only three changelings arrived at the Hollow to meet with the Winter Queen.

They found Ninian in the throne room playing chess. Sten approached her and began a lengthy monologue on what happened and what they found out. While he was giving the speech, with appropriate sound effects, the Queen motioned him to sit down on the other side of the chessboard.

"Your turn," she placed a pawn two spaces forward after Sten reached the point of the story that was a few minutes behind the present. Never having played this game before, Sten moved the pawn the Queen had placed back to its starting position.

"So you found the Privateers' hiding place," she contemplated Sten's move, trying to decipher his strategy. "Can I see the stew?"
"No!" Two tried to protect her own with her body. The Queen flicked her wrist in the air and the stew began to float through the air over to her. Two quickly slurped it all in, visibly annoying the Queen.
"Have you told this to anyone else?" she turned back to Sten.
"No," he mirrored the Queen's move after she move a bishop closer to the centre of the board.
"I would like to ask you not to tell about this to anyone else," she said after looking at his and Joseph's Mantles.
Joseph and Two agreed nearly straight away. Sten on the other hand hesitated.
"What will we do now?" he asked.
"The best thing we can do at this point... Hide," she nodded to her own words.
The changelings were dismissed.

Although Sten did mention that the Ogre was expecting his buddies to arrive with a new changeling during the witching hour, the Winter Queen didn't like their idea of trying to go and save a lost cause. Since they were told to hide, they decided the best place to hide was next to that cottage that they found in the Hedge.

On their way there, they stopped at the train station to gather some Glamour. Joseph stepped in the way of an office worker who was trying to catch a train. He tried to sell him the Big Issue and didn't take no as an answer. Even when the man took the magazine out of his hands and threw it on the ground, he simply picked it up and asked if he wants to buy it. Meanwhile Two was talking to a mother with a child, getting dangerously close to her baby and talking to it in a very creepy way. Unfortunately, this reminded her of how she was taken to Arcadia as a young child. The Darkling lost her mind, she fell to the ground shouting and screaming. Sten was pacing back and forth, trying to decide what to do when the Railway Police started to walk towards them. Joseph made a quick escape.

The police helped Two get up and escorted her and Sten out of the premises. They offered to call the ambulance but Two was regaining her hold on sanity. They went to the alley with the Trod. Joseph jumped out of the sewers and the three were back together before they entered the Hedge.

This time they stayed on the path. Luckily, Two noticed a string going over the Trod before either had a chance to fall into the trap. She put her arm over it so the other two changelings had no problems going over without triggering it.

When they finally reached the cottage, Joseph climbed a tree, Sten hid behind it while Two went off to have a peek inside. She saw the stew cooking above a blue flame, the Ogre they met having a nap and a couple of big bags. When she told them what she saw, they waited for the rest to arrive. Somewhere after the witching hour, they saw four changelings coming this way somewhere from the opposite way than the one they came. There was a man made out of ice, with a frozen nose and a colourful T-shirt with palm trees all over it, an Arctic fox and two chain-mail wearing Wizened with swords hanging from their belts.

After they entered the cottage, Two went off to take another look inside. She heard the Elemental shouting at the Ogre and saying something about the Goblin Market and a scabbard before she was noticed. As quickly as possible, she ran off and climbed a tree. The changelings went after her but didn't see where she went. Two felt safe until she noticed the Beast sniffing the ground. She tried to get her jacket off and threw it away as a distraction, but due to her frail body, she fell face down on the ground.

Seeing the events taking a turn for the worse. Sten charged in with a battle cry that he quickly wrapped around himself while Joseph started to jump from tree to tree. He made it in time to fall onto the head of the Ogre before he crushed Two under his fists. While Joseph was ripping the Ogre's face out of him and fending off another Beast, Sten engaged in single combat with the other Elemental who was now wrapped in cold and ice. Unable to grab a hold of the rat, the fox started to bite Two.

As the battle progressed, Two was slashed from behind while Sten heard a swooping sound of metal and the clanking of armour before he weaved out of the way. The two Wizened stepped out of their hiding places with their swords drawn.

The Ogre didn't took long before he fell down, barely managing to break any of Joseph's bones. The rat jumped off, with the Ogre's eye in hand and took the Wizened off Two's shoulder. He put his fist into the changeling's mouth, letting him have a taste of the Ogre's eye.

Sten momentarily took his attention off the two changelings he was facing and threw a shout at the fox's ears. This gave Two an excellent opportunity to first stab him in the eyes, then seize his muzzle so he bit his own tongue and finally biting his nose off.

It's only when they realised the battle between the Elementals ended with Sten being turned into a block of ice and shattering into a million pieces that they were overwhelmed. Two started to run, she shouted for Joseph to follow but he was too far gone into rage to take note of anything other than the next kill. The ice changelings closed down on him.



Bonus Material: Storyteller's Commentary

Stella and Daisy couldn't make it to this session. They said something about real life but I didn't quite understood what they meant. We at first thought we wouldn't roleplay and set up a board game when Bill showed up and we had three players! Enough to run something!

This session was odd. At first it started off with a lot of laughing and joking around until I asked for a break because the laughing was just too much. Unfortunately, I later realised that because of all the humour I forgot to put in a plot hook I've been keeping for the initial scene. No matter, I can put it back in at the next scene, it's not like this is the first thing this happens.

The scene at the train station was interesting. The players were basically trying to get some Glamour. It is a resources that they spend to use their special changeling powers (Blessings and Contracts). One way of getting it is through instilling emotions into people and feeding off them.

The problems started when they entered the Hedge. After the first trap I decided to skip the others since I wanted to get to the Goblin Market scene before the session ended but that didn't work out so well. I thought that upon seeing more than half as many people who are way better armed than the player group is, they'd try and not engage them in direct combat. Especially since I did say at the beginning that World of Darkness combat is lethal.

Instead of running away into safety or at least using surgical strikes and misdirection they decided to go for direct combat against impossible odds. I ended up killing two player characters (including one I really liked) which I despise with my whole being so much that I couldn't get myself to write this summary until now. I had to take Sunday off roleplaying just to calm myself down.

I think I know what mistake I made. I gave people too much room to take the story where they want but that's just falling flat. Right now I think I'll speed things up and aim to finish this game in the next 3 sessions.

PS: I'll explain the Courts with the next session summary since it looks like that one will be way more political than this one got a chance to be.

2 comments:

  1. These have been really interesting session summaries, particularly the commentaries. I'm sorry that the game's not going well for you, but it does make for fascinating reading!

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  2. it's odd... the game just can't decide whether it's good or bad... but I'm glad someone is enjoying the mad scribbles of an insignificant little boy...

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